By Chuck Woodbury
It’s October 13, time to head to Arizona from where I am now near Roanoke, Virginia. It’s about 2,000 miles. I want to be out of here when the weather turns nasty.
I’m not ready to leave. There’s too much to see and do. I haven’t visited the South by RV for more than 20 years. Now, when I look at the map, I see a hundred places, no make that a thousand places, I want to explore. Alas, so little time. . .
THE LAST TIME I WAS HERE was for only a few days, six years ago, when I flew to Atlanta to visit my father’s navigator from World War II. My father piloted a B-24 Liberator on 35 missions over Germany. I learned from “Sully” how my father came close to dooming one flight by goofing off on a mission delivering gasoline to General Patton. I videotaped his story, which you can watch here. Sully died a few years ago, the last of the crew to go. He, my father and all their generation who served the country then were heroes of the first degree.
My father liked to tell a story about when he and Sully stumbled upon my mother and her girlfriend on the way to a USO dance in Redlands, California. They were walking on a sidewalk, when they spotted two young women approaching from ahead. “Sully said I’ll take the tall one and you take the short one,” my father told me many times through the years. The short one, of course, would become my mother.
“Oh, no, that’s not the way it happened,” Sully told me, laughing. “I was too shy to ever suggest anything like that. It was your father who chose your mother, the short one.”
My dad the hustler! I never would have guessed. It’s always good to get a second opinion about your parents’ stories.